• Chesterfield County proposes sign code amendment

    The Chesterfield Observer reports that Chesterfield County has reached an agreement with Lamar to amend the county’s sign code.  The changes are the result of a 7 month process including three public work sessions.  Key elements of the agreement include:

    • A cap on the number of billboards in the county at 81.  There are currently 91.
    • Permit signs to be modernized if they comply with the new ordinance.
    • Permit a new sign only if an existing sign is taken down.
    • Prohibits stacked or side by side billboards.
    • Limit sign sizes to 672 feet only heavily travelled roads and 300 squar feet along other roads.
    • A 1,000 foot setback from most billboards, a 300 foot setback from residences and a 500 feet setback from schools and parks
    • Approval of digital billboards with a 10 second minimal flip
    • Require digital billboard operators to provide the county with a 10 second interval per minute for noncommercial use
    • Require outdoor advertising signs to be monument signs or cladded pole signs

    The planning commission will vote on the agreement May 21.  The proposal is on page 5 of the Planning Commission’s May 21, 2019 Meeting Agenda.

    Insider’s take:  Seems like a win-win.  The county gets a reduction in the overall number of signs.  Lamar has incentive to upgrade antiquated dilapitated signs with upgraded signs.  The county gets public service advertising on any new digitals.


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    1. Couple of issues here:
      1) The government just created a monopoly for Lamar if they are the only vendor in the area. Example, if I as a property owner wanted to erect a billboard on my own property at my own expense to make more money, I do not have one to remove. Thus I am now required by law to deal with Lamar.

      2) In relation to above the ordinance now violates my personal property rights in that I can get the most value of my property because I have one vendor to deal with, in this case Lamar.

      3) As a property owner, Lamar can now hold over my head a lower land rent at renewal of lease because if I demand more and they demand less, I have the choice of losing all revenue or losing some revenue. Lamar can remove billboard and replace in another area, thus they do not have a financial burden.

      I just consulted with a property owner in Lincoln Park, MI who owned some land, erected his own 10′ x 23′ LED, in order to make the most money off his land as possible. He was offered 20% of revenue from two vendors – he said why not 100% so built his own. Using Chesterfield County ordinance, he personally would not be allowed to build this off site sign because he did not have one to remove.

      this ordinance hurts small local independent property owners and sign owners.

    2. Amen, they pull this crap everywhere